A combination of Japanese minimalism and Scandinavian warmth, the Japandi style blends the best of both cultures. The sleek lines of Japandi design create interiors that are perfect for relaxing. There’s also a focus on functionality, comfort and the beauty of natural materials—with all their imperfections. For this DIY Japandi coffee table project, we’ve opted for unfinished wood which has visible traces of the original tree. For this DIY rustic piece, we recommend using light wood—we’ve used ash for the top and acacia for the legs. You can also choose from the wide range of wood types available on our website, including pine, oak and poplar.

And if you’re new to making wooden furniture before, don’t panic—we’ve designed this tutorial for beginners. Although this project may require a bit more material than usual, it’ll teach you how to assemble wood using cam lock fittings, which are commonly used in flat-pack furniture assembly.

What you’ll need to make DIY Japandi coffee table

To make this Japandi inspired coffee table, you’ll need the following materials:

DIY Japandi coffee table tutorial
DIY Japandi coffee table tutorial

DIY Japandi coffee table tutorial

Step 1: Glue the tabletop

DIY Japandi coffee table tutorial: glue the wood
Glue the wood together

If you’d like your table to have asymmetrical edges—as pictured here, not planed on one side, but smooth on the other—use the circular saw to cut the entire length of one of the two planks you will be joining together for your tabletop.

Assemble the two planks together before gluing them to check the joint is flush. If this is not the case, you will have to plane the meeting edges before gluing them.

Next, put the glue on the edges of the planks, join them together and fit three clamps on them tightly. Allow your tabletop assembly to dry completely, waiting a minimum of 24 hours.

Step 2: Sand away

Sand the DIY japandi coffee table

Using your circular saw, cut the edges of the table at right angles. Here, we’ve cut our table to measure approximately 110 cm x 60 cm.
Next, sand the planks smooth, making sure you remove any traces of glue at the joint.
Finally, set your sander at 45° and use it to sand all right angles. This will produce a slightly rounded bevel, known as a chamfer, on the edges of your table for comfort and practicality.

Step 3: Put some legs into it

To make the legs for your coffee table, take the last plank and cut two pieces measuring 30 cm wide. Sand them until smooth.

To join the legs to the tabletop, prepare four cam locks and fix the dowel combinations.
This is a common technique for assembling flat-pack furniture with T-joints. It can be done without glue and makes it easier to dismantle and reassemble the legs in the future.

Cam lock and fixing dowel combinations look a lot like nuts and bolts.

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On one side of the coffee table leg, mark the location of the cam lock/nut (we’ve placed them 7 cm from the sides). First, drill a blind hole—a hole that does not go through to the other side—to the correct diameter with a milling cutter style drill to insert the cam lock. Next, use a conventional drill bit to drill a hole into this cavity (as pictured). The dimensions for the depth and diameter of the drill bits you must use are determined by the fittings’ manufacturer.

Drill legs into the coffee table

On the tabletop, mark the four assembly points and pre-drill the holes where you will fit the dowels.

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Screw the fitting dowels into the tabletop.

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The last step involves assembling the legs by inserting the dowels into the holes you’ve created. They should fit easily and you should see the head of the dowel protruding through the blind hole (the larger holes you first drilled). Just like with flat pack furniture assembly, turn the cam lock/nut gently using a screwdriver so that it grips the fitting dowel/bolt.

And voilà! You’ve finished the DIY Japandi coffee table tutorial. Check out our article about the Japandi trend to add the finishing touches to your living space.

Japandi interior design

Did you enjoy this tutorial on a DIY Japandi coffee table? Why not read our article on shelfie styling tips or our room divider buying guide!

Are you going to make your own Japandi style coffee table? Share your finished results with us on Instagram using the #mymanomanoway#manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

A subtle blend of Japanese delicacy and Scandinavian ingenuity, Japandi is the modern, soothing style you don’t want to miss. At the heart of this design trend? Minimalism and sophistication. So if you like functional and warm interiors, this Nordic-Japanese movement is definitely for you. Between the choice of colours, materials and decoration, your interiors will evolve into a calming, functional and chic space.

A combination of minimalism and subtlety for a Japandi look

Japandi design
Japandi design

Born from the mixing of the words “Japanese” and “Scandinavian”, Japandi is also the visual reflection of this. Pure and sober, this design trend brings an elegant and functional touch to your interiors. In addition to the subtle harmony of colours, furniture and materials, this hybrid style also brings well-being and harmony to your daily life. 100% winning then! If minimalism is at the heart of this decorative movement, the comfort and quality of the materials are not to be neglected. Ah, cocooning when you like it! With a few key design principles and tips in your pocket, this trend will soon be your new favourite.

A Nordic-Japanese movement with rich colours 

Deeper colours mixed with lighter neutrals
Deeper colours mixed with lighter neutrals

A real invitation to relax, the colour palette ranges from neutral, pastel tones to darker shades. While white, black and grey are characteristic of the Scandinavian style, Japandi goes further by opting for neutral but deep colours. Taupe, green, dark grey and mauve are particularly popular. However, the result, sober and refined, will be no less bright. It is the harmony with the materials and objects that create the magic with a light yet calming glow. 

In Japandi, quality is more important than quantity! 

After the preparations, it’s time to personalise and to sort out the essentials. The culture of minimalism enjoys a refined interior as a reflection of clarity of mind. This makes objects which are beautiful decorative accessories and those with sentimental value stand out all the more. Focus on creating an uncluttered but functional space! In the Nordic-Japanese movement, utility takes precedence over the purely decorative. To create a harmonious home, you should also choose soft, clear lines rather than complex shapes, as these can make your rooms look heavy and untidy. 

Natural materials at the heart of Japandi design

Natural materials are key to the Japandi look
Natural materials are key to the Japandi look

Natural materials are very much in vogue. Oak, beech or pine – wood is the star. Often dark and raw, it gives depth and character to a room. With its artisanal and sometimes rustic touch, it enhances your living spaces. In parallel, stone and metal are also popular, the latter for its minimalist aspect. For a lighter touch, opt for cork or paper. Vegetable fibres fit in very well with this trend. Wooden floors, stone bathtubs and marble basins fit perfectly into open rooms that let in light. The key to a successful design? Think “Wabi-sabi”, of course! In other words, a beauty that can also be seen in the imperfections and patina of time. Simplicity and authenticity transport you into the world of spirituality and contemplation. 

From furniture to decoration, this decorative style focuses on the essentials

Essential furniture comprising a variety of natural materials
Essential furniture comprising a variety of natural materials

Beyond its usefulness, Japandi furniture also promotes well-being and spirituality, which are important in Japanese culture. Several types of furniture can coexist perfectly, such as a futon in the bedroom, a designer coffee table in the living room and a chest of drawers in the hall. The important thing is to keep the balance between minimalism and refinement. Beautiful lighting completes this very special atmosphere, where lamps fulfil their decorative and useful role perfectly. They can be made from natural materials such as paper or bamboo, or from metallic materials which are darker in colour. Ceramic or wooden tableware also leaves a lasting impression. Finally, adding a few candles and teapots will make your interior even warmer. 

A modern and soothing look: Home sweet home

Japandi is not just a decorative style but a state of mind and a way of life. It emphasises nature and authenticity, for a return to the essentials. Both indoors and outdoors, extend your Zen garden with a few plants, herbs or branches to recall the alliance of the raw and the delicate. Everything goes in the same direction to offer yourself well-being and peace of mind on a daily basis. And creating a soothing and functional interior is not a bad idea, is it?

Did you enjoy this article on Japandi design? Why not read our article on small space design ideas on a budget or our room divider buying guide!

Are you decorating your home with the Japandi trend? Share your finished results with us on Instagram using the #mymanomanoway#manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!